The Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) proposals to put cabbies on even footing with ride-sharing services has been rejected by taxi driver associations in the Klang Valley. The groups said that the proposals are inadequate and not enough to help them survive against the new competition.
Klang Valley Taxi Drivers’ Action Committee president Zailani Isa Usuluddin accused the government of trying to trick taxi drivers, and that the proposed deregulation exercise is simply trying to get out of trouble with cabbies. Zailani made the statement in reference to a part of SPAD’s proposal to reduce the number of PUSPAKOM inspections for taxis.
In addition to the reduced inspections. SPAD had also proposed a new individual public service vehicle license to be used alongside the current taxi license. The idea is that this would allow taxi drivers to operate independently, instead of being tied to a particular company – which would allow them to operate in the same manner as ride-sharing services.
Malaysian Taxi Drivers Trans-formation Association vice-president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain said he was surprised that the government is suddenly willing to compromise on safety. One of the original arguments for requiring taxi drivers to submit to PUSPAKOM inspections every six months was to ensure the safety of the vehicles. Of course, taxi drivers had also used the inspections as one of the examples of unequal footing with ride-sharing drivers.
Kamaruddin instead suggested that the new individual licenses be subject to a quota system and given to taxi drivers first. He claimed that this is because cabbies were doing the job for a living, while ride-sharing drivers were merely looking for side income.
Despite the objections, taxi drivers are yet to actually meet with SPAD to go over the proposals. At the moment, it looks like cabbies are more interested in getting Uber and Grab banned rather than looking into the effects of the proposals.
[Source: The Star]